Saving For Special Occasions

There is so much pressure on us nowadays to pay out for big events and special occasions. I must admit that we don’t participate in all the events in a year as it would just be too much but we do celebrate a few and have our own special ways of saving for them.

Swift Money are currently in the process of creating an infographic talking about how we spend money on these occasions and how much pressure is on us to buy at these times. Let’s take a look at the facts and figures around gift purchasing and how we finance these gifts. People may even consider taking on loans such as these – is this something you have ever considered?

52% of women ‘always’ or ‘occasionally’ save money for gifts, whereas 63% of men will ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ save. I would definitely agree with this – I am much more likely to save for Jack and Olivia’s birthday and Christmas presents whereas Steve just uses that month’s paycheck if there is anything left. 68% of people said there are societal pressures to buy for more calendar events than they would like to – this is very true also but in our situation, we have decided that we will only buy for the most important people on the most important occasions otherwise we end up spending out far too much and leaving ourselves short in other areas.

When it comes to Christmas gift giving, food and drink is the most popular gift given (38%) with wearables such as clothes, jewellery and perfume following close behind with 28% and gadgets also at the same percentage. I generally buy food and drink items, wearables or gadgets so this figure definitely seems correct to me. So when it comes to Christmas, what do we do?

I have now got to the point where I start saving money from around halfway through the year – I save a little bit into my savings account from each invoice that comes in, I save my rewards on all my supermarket loyalty cards so I can spend them during the festive season and I also try to save all Amazon gift codes so I can have a big splurge on presents at the end of November for Jack’s birthday and the kids Christmas presents. I also enter competitions to try and win the things that the kids and Steve want but I may not necessarily afford. Yes, I may not always win but I always end up with a nice bounty of prizes to give to the children, Steve and our parents alongside the things I have bought.

Aside from a few chocolate eggs for the kids at Easter, the only other events we spend out on except for birthdays is Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. It is said that 40% of people buy flowers for Father’s/Mother’s Day and whilst we definitely buy our mums flowers for Mother’s Day, I cannot say we have ever bought flowers for our dads – opting more for sports stuff, clothes or the odd bottle of whisky. Whilst we save for the kids birthdays and Christmas presents, we generally tend to pay out for other presents such as Easter eggs and Father’s and Mother’s Day presents out of our paychecks.

How do you save for special occasions? Do you have a particular routine each year to save up for the big events?

In colloration

Saving More, Spending Less | Update 2

Since my last update, I haven’t got much further but I thought I’d update on you how I have been doing since the update.


Save The Change is working well for me – I’m managing to save quite a bit simply by having this set up. I am also saving 25% of any income into my bank account for tax – I’m being extra cautious and making sure I have more than enough money to pay any tax that’s due.


I am still partial to the coffee shop but the takeaways are pretty much non existent since we properly got back on Slimming World. However, buying more ingredients to cook from scratch has proved to be a little bit expensive but hey, at least we are being healthy!


I am working even more. I seem to be picking up clients left, right and centre and I am loving it. Whether it is blog work, freelance writing, proofreading or virtual assistant services, I am constantly busy and I love ot/


I am still checking my daily lotteries (my favourites are Free Lucky Lottery, NumberPlateLotto (which I have won on before and been paid THE SAME DAY),Free Postcode Lottery, Lucky Phone and DOB Lotto.

I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov – I’ve had two cheques from Populus already this year! Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.

Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. I’ve been selling tons on Shpock and Facebook groups too – determined to declutter my house whilst earning some cash at the same time!

If you are in a similar position, how are you doing?

Why I Enjoy Playing Online Bingo

Collaborative Post

I’ve made no secret before of how I love a game of bingo. Whether it is bingo in a bingo hall, cash bingo on holiday in the 18+ bar on site or playing online, I love a good game and seeing if I can increase my money. I come from a gambling family – we love a good old flutter – but because of this, I have always known my limits. I know exactly how much I have to spend and I never exceed this. It can be tempting for some people to keep putting money in but if I deposit a certain amount, I will only use that certain amount and no more.

Over the years I have played on a number of different sites. I’ve seen so many different sites come and go over the years and have recently been checking out seasonal online bingo reviews. I love a good gimmick and the Christmas theme of Season Bingo is so much fun! Who doesn’t love a bit of festive fun?

When it comes to bingo sites, I look for a few different things. A good selection of games, decent bonuses and the ability to play on both desktop and mobile if I so wish. I want to know that I am getting the most for my money and I don’t have to always stick to the same games all of the time. To have an enjoyable time, I need to know that I am getting a good deal and that I will be able to have fun when I play.

Obviously right now I don’t have much of a budget for playing as I am trying to save as much money as possible but I am always happy to spend the odd amount here and there to take advantage of a decent promotion and get a good payback. Just before Olivia was born, I realised I still had some bonus money to play on a site and won over £100 within just a few minutes.

As long as you know your limits, online bingo can be a lot of fun. Do you ever play it?

Join Swagbucks Swago This Week!

I am an SB influencer. This post contains referral links.

Swagbucks is holding their Swago promotion on Monday, May 22nd! It’s just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash!

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus!

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before June 1st, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

My Swagbucks Story | What I Do With My Rewards

I am an SB influencer. This post contains referral links.

I have been using Swagbucks now for over four years and whilst I’ve not always been consistent with it, it has proved to be a steady form of income when I do work at it. I mentioned in my Saving More, Spending Less post that I am so keen to be debt free by the end of this year and I can actually see that happening if I keep working as hard as I have.

I’m currently saving all my SB’s and then redeeming them for PayPal cash. Once that cash hits my PayPal, I withdraw to my bank account and then transfer straight across to my savings account where it won’t be touched. Whilst I am keen to get debt free, I also know the importance of having an emergency fund/buffer should anything happen or need fixing urgently.

I originally found Swagbucks through another blogger, although I’m not sure who. Now it seems like everyone I know uses the site but back then it was just a handful of us. It is such a great site to save and make money for whatever you may need it for – I have people on my friends list who have kitted out their entire house with their SB rewards and others who’ve saved up their PayPal cash and used it for a once in a lifetime trip.

For a few minutes a day, Swagbucks is great and even if I don’t get that many points in a day, just to see my balance building up is so rewarding. Just this year I have had £80 from them, all of which has gone into my savings and I am just about to cash out for another big amount.

I’d definitely recommend signing up (you can do so here) and seeing what you can earn! I’d even consider an SB challenge against some of you to see who can get the most SB in a month – who’s up for that? Em, I’m looking at you!